...during the past week, best selling writer John Sandford released "Buried Prey," the next highly anticipated saga regarding the life of Minnesota Special Investigator Lucas Davenport.
Within the same cluster of days, one-time power agent turned writer, Nathan Bransford, released his YA grandslam, "Jacob Wonderbar," armed with a nationwide release, an upcoming book tour, and a blog posting of the first chapter to his five thousand loyal followers.
And despite the ache of salt being rubbed into an open wound, I managed to stumble across a handful of blog postings this week describing the do's and don'ts of our precarious world of publishing...and found myself guilty of breaking more laws than I'm willing to share.
All this during the one and only week that "South of Charm" was quietly placed onto the shelves of a select few Indie-Book stores scattered about locally, including my editor's shop, The Wooster Book Company.
It happened without the help of bullhorns or a guest appearance on Good Morning America. No ads were taken out on massive billboards foreshadowing the city limits. No articles in the Times. Just a few copies squeezed onto the "Local Writers" shelf, three rows back from Sandford, and hardly noticeable behind Bransford's cardboard display of a giddy eight year old dressed for a launch into space.
You won't yet find it on Amazon, and if Googled, the title appears as a blip, an accompanying photo or two, and nothing more.
And so by Thursday, I was glum, figuring my chances of making a sales splash had been thwarted on game day.
Then on Friday morning, having not heard a peep from my publisher, a twenty-something fellow named Bob from our warehouse, entered my office smelling of grit and mildew, and plopped into a nearby chair. I've often considered Bob out of sorts when not armed with an axe and covered in chips from a recently downed maple tree. He's overweight, foulmouthed, and troubled when unable to stir up a healthy fist fight during Happy Hour.
I prepared myself to be sprayed with obscenities for not inspecting the chemical ingredients in a length of pipe to be sent out for x-ray. Instead, he downs the remainder of his bottled water, pushes out a belch, and says, "Wanted you to know that I bought your book yesterday after work."
"What? Did ya think I couldn't read or somethin? The big dumb warehouse packer can't barely spell his name, much less read a damn book?"
I raised an open palm in defense. "No no...I mean...thanks Bob. I hope you like it."
Not sure how to respond, he hesitated, offered a nod, and stumbled out the door.
...it was later that evening when I received an email from David, my editor, whose short message lifted my spirits.
"Your book did well today."
I've been informed of an upcoming book signing or two, staying local. The review copies have been shipped out, and the results will coincide with the Kindle release, be them positive, or not so much.
Until then, "South of Charm" is available through Wooster Book's website in the link below. It's the story of a ten year old boy named Danny. He's got a bit of a problem. A secret that he's not wanting to share. And he's about to find out that he's got something a bit more inside of him. Something inspiring. A talent he never knew he had. Powerful enough to stir an entire community into a frenzy. But is that really what he wants? When you're ten years old, is that what anybody wants?
...A day in the sun had burned Mom's cheeks and forehead, the flesh above her brow stretched tight, causing her scowl to appear uncomfortable to maintain.
I followed her gaze to an unoccupied corner of the dining room, where a metal shelving unit was being used as a storage supply for extra menus and utensils bound together in napkins. My eyes darted from the hateful expression frozen upon my mother's face, to the cluttered shelving unit, searching the shadowy areas on either side for anything out of order.
While sitting next to her, I glanced down and noticed that she had backed out of the sandals she had worn while touring the battlegrounds at Gettysburg. She had balled up her toes, clenching them together like oddly shaped fists attached to her ankles.
Having lowered her arms to where they rested upon her thighs, she had joined her hands together, her knuckles trembling.
Troubled, I turned my attention back to the far corner of the dining room, scanning the area in question. When we first entered the restaurant, I spotted a six-by-eight bronze sign fastened to the wall next the hostess station which stated that due to safety requirements, the dining room's full capacity under state law was one hundred eighty-five people. With nearly every table being used at that moment, I was confident that the restaurant was full. However, while everyone else in the bustling eatery was able to see one hundred eighty-five people enjoying their meals, I was convinced that somehow, Mom was seeing one hundred eighty-six...
"South of Charm"
Thanks for reading ;)